interested in sign language and mysteries. I am trying to study sign
language and get better at it. I REALLY want to read the next book. When
will it be done? My Grandma and Grandpa gave me your AWESOME books.
By S. J. Henderson on February 2, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars Gifted book for honest review. juliesbookreview.blogspot.com, January 26, 2015
By Theresa F – See all my reviews
Our favorite 13 yr-old super sleuth is back and better than ever!!!
After a fun, intriguing summer, Skylar is back and yet again more changes have come into her life. Her dad was lucky enough to sell his non-alcoholic cough syrup, while in Paris over the summer. This means a move to a bigger house!!! Skylar just wants to a house still close to her bff, Alexa and in the same school district. I mean really, what 13 yr old wants to start middle school in a new school???
House hunting becomes a bore, UNTIL they reach a mansion sitting on a steep hillside, dark storm clouds are looming over this deserted, abandoned home. The windows are cracked, screens torn, shingles missing and birds have made the inside their home. Yet, this place calls to Skylar. . . . there of course is a mystery behind it. The owner, Xandra Collins, disappeared without a trace three years ago. Xandra has hidden jewels buried somewhere on her estate. Her heirs have searched and no luck. NOW, it’s Skylar’s turn, she is excited and soon starts turning over clues. . . . But, the question is, will she find them before someone else does???
I can not express enough how much I love the Skylar Robbin books!!! Carrie hits the mark on excitement and laying the story out. It’s an easy read for any teen, I am sure they will be sucked in as quick as us adults are. Thank you for another great novel and I look forward to the next book!!
5 super sleuth stars
Many thanks to Long and Short of It Reviews for naming, Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels, their Book of the Month for January, 2015! Their 4.5-star review of the latest Skylar Robbins novel follows.
Old houses can carry a lot of secrets, but they’re not always keen on revealing them.
It was a lot of fun to observe Skylar’s relationship with her parents. This was the first time that she’s attempted to solve a mystery while living with them, so there were many opportunities for her sleuthing to be squeezed into otherwise ordinary days. The relationship between mother and daughter was particularly interesting because Skylar and her mom have completely opposite personalities and interests.The occasional disagreements that resulted from these differences were well written and believable.
The character development was also strong. Skylar has learned from her previous adventures and occasionally mentions those lessons as she attempts to solve this mystery. I liked seeing a slightly older and more mature version of this character and am looking forward comparing this version of her with who she will become in the future.
My only criticism of this tale is a minor one. Early on in the plot Skylar’s parents buy a house that’s three times the size of what they actually need. The characters discuss how unusual this decision is, but they never really give any concrete reasons for why a small, nuclear family would have any interest in such a huge home. I would have preferred to see at least one more conversation later in on the plot explaining this decision.
Attempting to solve the mystery before anyone in the plot figures it out is one of the things I look forward to the most with this series. The clues are revealed slowly and methodically. Some of them are easy to figure out, but others require more thought. I’ve really enjoyed puzzling out both of Skylar’s mysteries so far.
This is the sequel to Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills, but it can be read as a standalone novel. The most important background and character information from that story is briefly recapped in this one.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels has made me eager to read more about Skylar’s adventures. I’d heartily recommend this tale to anyone who is a fan of mysteries or the young adult genre.
It’s not easy to write well for children, and Ms. Cross has done a superlative job in this entertaining adventure story.
The book starts with a couple of familiar tropes (the creepy old house, the keen boy/girl detective) and in the opening pages I was expecting a standard ‘Nancy Drew’ kind of offering, albeit very well done. But The Mystery of Shadow Hills unfolds layer by surprising layer, revealing with each turn something that takes us completely off guard. Oh, there’s witches. Oh, no wait, the witches are real and dangerous! Oh, but wait….
Skylar is a wonderfully down-to-earth heroine; there are no child prodigies here, no soaring intellects or paranormal abilities. Just an ordinary little girl with a consuming passion and the patience to learn to use her tools. As we follow her through some really hair-raising experiences, we watch her discover the difference between real and false friendship, and after a few false starts, find her way onto a solid path of common sense.
A wonderfully enjoyable read for ages 8 to 13, but able to be enjoyed by all ages.
There are some things that puzzle even the smartest detective. Will Skylar be able to figure out why her cousin is such a bully or what’s really happening late at night on Shadow Hills before the summer ends?
Skylar’s insatiable curiosity made me like her immediately. She’s an intelligent and resourceful girl who is clearly accustomed to thinking on her feet. What really endeared me to this character, though, were her faults. They’re things that a lot of us struggle with, and they show up so early on in her summer vacation that they feel like natural extensions of her personality. The fact that she’s willing to do this makes me think she’s a great role model. It takes a lot of courage to own up to this stuff, after all.
There were times when I questioned Skylar’s choice of friends. She’s a kind person, but she seems to be attracted to people who don’t necessarily share that character trait. It would have been helpful to know why she befriends people who have such a different outlook on life given that Skylar doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in her body. I’m hoping that this part of her life will be more fully explored in the sequel.
As a lifelong fan of codes, I was pleased to see so many different types of them represented in this story. There’s something fascinating about writing a message that most other people won’t be able to understand. At a few different points I actually paused and played around with the various codes that Skylar and her friends used to keep their communication with each other hidden. To me this is a sign of a great young adult mystery!
Figuring out the best age recommendation for this book was tricky. The plot is clearly intended for middle grade readers. Skylar seemed to written to appeal to an audience that is a few years younger than her. Chronologically she’s a teenager, but hasn’t yet developed an interest in the kind of stuff that typically appeal to adolescents.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills was a strong introduction to a fun, new series. I’m looking forward to catching up with Skylar on her next adventure, and I’d heartily recommend doing the same to anyone who is a fan of mysteries or young adult novels.
5.0 out of 5 stars
juliesbookreview.blogspot.com, August 19, 2014
This review is from: Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills (Kindle Edition)
Skylar Robbins wants nothing more in life than to be a Private Investigator like her late grandpa. Skylar learns she will be spending the summer in Malibu with her Aunt Caroline, Uncle Jim and bully cousin Gwendolyn. She will also be attending a new school for the summer. Armed with PI kit and diary she sets out to have the best summer she can while her parents are in Europe.
There are few rules that need to followed: she is never to enter the attic, her great Evelyn’s things are stored there, she is also not to go into “shadow hills” that is located behind the house. Shadow Hills is a nickname for the Rocky Mountain Range behind Gwen’s house.
Skylar soon discovers a secret garden and a good friend from school. Kat opens a new world for Skylar. A world unlike Skylar has ever known. The adventure Skylar and Kat go on for the summer will have Skylar facing fears she never knew she had. She will find courage along the way that will save her and Malibu.
This book is for the younger readers but I LOVED IT! ! I hated to put it down! It’s well written and keeps you on the edge of your seat 🙂 It’s full of magic and mystery! I can see Skylar Robbins being a favorite with many little girls.